H.E. Mao Hak, Vice Chairman of Tonle Sap Authority, Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology (MOWRAM);

Representatives of National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), Ministry of Environment, Min. of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF), Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Ministry of Women Affairs;

Representatives of development partners (including ADB, Swiss Development Cooperation, UN agencies, NGOs);

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Excellencies, ladies and gentleman:

It is a pleasure to be with you here at the National Climate Outlook Forum or Monsoon Forum as it is called here – this is the second of 2019, in keeping with our plan.

This Monsoon Forum is a cyclical, dynamic platform for dialogue between the Department of Meteorology (DOM) and stakeholder institutions, including line ministries and sectoral departments.

Our GEF-funded project for Strengthening Climate information and Early Warning Systems has been advocating to advance climate forecasting in Cambodia. This forum is one of the achievements of the project.

This Monsoon Forum is quite unusual for the country. It is built around the monsoon – a key climate driver in Cambodia. After being dormant since the last one in March 2016, the first of the two planned Monsoon Forums this year was held, the report of which is available on our website. The first was conducted before peak Monsoon season, usually from May to October. Today is the second of the year, right after the peak Monsoon season.

Thanks to our collaboration with RIMES – the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System, we have managed to work with the Department of Meteorology in translating global models and historical data, to generate a monthly and seasonal forecast for Cambodia. This provides opportunities for constant tailoring of information to suit user needs.

Today, the Department of Meteorology will also present the validation of the previous forecast based on the observation data from the stations that the UNDP- supported project has installed.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

We wish to express our gratitude to all partners for the continuous collaboration thus far, especially the active engagement of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology.

The key matter for discussion at this forum would be the seasonal forecast presented by the Department of Meteorology. It outlines current atmospheric conditions and predictions, obtained from the global model. The previous forecast would be analysed and assessed, as well as next month’s prediction of rainfall (or lack thereof) across Cambodia.  Credit again to RIMES for assisting the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology in producing this forecast.

Adding to the one-month forecast, our project has also managed to support the conduct of 3-month forecasts. This model will be updated every month based on the various global models and satellite observations. We are hopeful that this information would be available on the Department of Meteorology or Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology website.

The key contribution of this project thus far has been to ensure the availability of climate information in Cambodia. Not to forget, active weather and hydrological data produced by the Automatic Weather and Hydro Stations in Cambodia. This is the raw data for the future forecast, which we supported to begin with.

Our Early Warning Systems Project is not only about forecasting, but also about applying climate information to sectors – mainly the agriculture sector. With the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, we are working on drought management and have been initiating drought-specific training at the provincial level. We are discussing with MAFF about having a national drought platform for Cambodia.  Our work in early warning application in agriculture is in line with MAFF’s Climate Change Priority Actions, and this is one activity that we will focus on after generating climate data from our weather and hydro stations.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

We are very proud to have worked with our partners to come this far in achieving  notable milestones of the project. We look forward to continue to support Cambodia on climate information and early warning systems in close collaboration with MOWRAM, MAFF and NCDM.

We hope that this Monsoon Forum would answer the thirst of many of us for having climate information in the country. Most importantly, we could work together more closely in ensuring that climate information, including forecasting, continues to be available in the country.

Thank you again, and on behalf of UNDP, I would like to wish you a productive Monsoon Forum.

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